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Dr. Watkins Goes to Washington

Chris Watkins and others with Congressman Bill Owens, D-NY 21st District Reposted from CALS Notes:

Last week, new Cornell Cooperative Extension Director Chris Watkins led a group of extension volunteers, CCE executive directors, and 4-H and agricultural issue leaders on a trip to Washington, D.C. Taking a break from a national extension conference, the group met with various Congressional leaders to explain the importance of federal Smith-Lever dollars in fostering strong partnerships between county, state, and federal governments.

Smith-Lever funds are the foundation of the U.S. cooperative extension system. Passed in 1914, the Smith-Lever Act provides federal dollars to the states for extension activities, with the proviso that the states must fully match these funds from non-federal sources. The money is then used to support the cooperative extension networks in each state, which are administered through the state’s Land-grant institution. Without these resources, numerous CCE-sponsored programs in New York would not exist.

In this photo, Watkins (far left) visits with Congressman Bill Owens, D-NY 21st District (center), along with several members of the CCE delegation. Throughout his tenure in Congress, Owens (who recently announced he will not seek re-election) has been an advocate for the important contributions higher education and research make to the economic development of New York’s agricultural and rural communities.

(Photo and text provided by Julie Suarez. Pictured L-R: Watkins; Kevin Acres, St. Lawrence County legislator; Patrick Ames, CCE Director of St. Lawrence County; Congressman Owens; Rick LeVitre, CCE Director of Franklin County; Julie Suarez, CALS Assistant Dean for Government and Community Relations; and Anita Deming, Natural Resource and Agriculture Team Leader from CCE of Essex County)

‘ROOTED’ community art installation on for Thursday

rooted logoFrom Marcia Eames-Sheavly and Justin Kondrat:

Due to Tuesday night’s frigid temperatures, we’ve had to delay the ‘ROOTED’ community art installation.

But the good news is that it is now scheduled for this Thursday morning. It promises to be a beautiful day!

We plan to meet our Grounds Department at the KPL greenhouses to load bulbs at 8:45, and will then need volunteers to meet at the slope below the Cornell Clock Tower between 9:15 and 9:30. Volunteers will be needed to carry pots off the trucks, place them in marked locations, stake them, and weave solar lights through the installation, after it’s firmly established.

We will conclude with remarks by Dean Boor and Marvin Pritts at 12:15, so we appreciate any and all assistance to complete this unique piece of horticultural art on time! Please join us.

We will have refreshments on hand.

For breaking information, visit the Rooted at Cornell Facebook page.

Learn more about Rooted.

rooted p

Seminar video: Soils in the Urban Environment

If you missed Monday’s seminar, Soils in the Urban Environment: A Long Term Evaluation of the Scoop & Dump Remediation Strategy with Miles Sax, MPS/PGL Program Graduate Field of Horticulture, it’s available online.

Robinson is ASHS 2014 Outstanding Extension Educator

Terence Robinson

Terence Robinson

Terence Robinson, professor, Department of Horticulture, has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 American Society for Horticultural Science Outstanding Extension Educator Award. Robinson will receive the award at the ASHS Annual Conference at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida at the Opening Plenary Session, July 28.

The award “recognizes an educator who has made an outstanding and valuable contribution to horticultural science extension education for a period of 10 or more years”.

Congratulations Terence!

Eames-Sheavly recognized by the American Horticultural Society

Marcia Eames-Sheavly

Marcia Eames-Sheavly

American Horticultural Society (AHS) has recognized Senior Extension Associate and Senior Lecturer Marcia Eames-Sheavly as a recipient of the Society’s Teaching Award as part of its 2014 Great American Gardeners Awards.

AHS cited Eames-Sheavly’s coordination of landscape art projects such as sod couches and statues and other public art. She also developed the course Experiential Garden-Based Learning in Belize, in which she and a group of students travel to Belize to work with an elementary school and non-profit organization and The Art of Horticulture. A regular participant in the AHS’s annual National Children & Youth Garden Symposium, Eames-Sheavly was a keynote speaker at last year’s event in Denver, Colorado.

David Wolfe on crops that will be harder to grow in a warmer world

David Wolfe

David Wolfe

From National Geographic Daily News [2014-04-05]:

“The reality of climate change has already hit farms, ranches, and orchards around the globe, according to the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. While some crops will grow better in a warmer world, the report found that the negative impacts—including widespread crop damage, smaller harvests, and higher food costs—far outweigh any upsides.

“The report predicts that yields of major food crops like corn, wheat, and rice are likely to start decreasing by 2030 and will continue to decline by up to 2 percent a decade.

“No particular crops are likely to disappear any time soon, says David Wolfe, professor of horticulture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and committee member of Cornell’s Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture. Still, he predicts that farmers of the near future will likely have to take increasingly drastic and expensive measures to cope with epic droughts, summer heat, rogue frosts, and ever-changing growing seasons. ‘If it was as simple as gradual warming, farmers could plant around it,’ he says. ‘But as this global experiment has been playing out, farmers are seeing things they’ve never seen before.'”

Read the whole article.

For more on climate change and agriculture, visit the Cornell Climate Change website.

Congratulations Maddy, Marvin, Hanna

Award winners Olberg, Pritts and Hanna Rosner-Kats.

Award winners Olberg, Pritts and Rosner-Kats.

Horticulture chair Marvin Pritts and two Plant Sciences majors — Maddy Olberg and Hanna Rosner-Kats  — will be recognized for their accomplishments at the Dean’s Awards Reception Monday, April 21, 2014, 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Carrier Ballroom, Statler Hotel.

Pritts will receive the Faculty Service award. Olberg and Rosner-Kats will be recognized for Academic Excellence in the Plant Sciences. Rosner-Kats has also been selected as one of three Class of 2014 Banner Bearers.

A pasta dinner buffet will be open at the reception from 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (The program begins at 5:45 p.m.) RSVP is required for attendance. (RSVP here by Friday, April 11.)

Hortus Forum Nicaragua travelogue April 10

HoFo Nicaragua posterMembers of Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club, traveled to Nicaragua in January.

Come see their pictures and hear their stories during an informal lunch-time travelogue:

  • Thursday April 10
  • 12 noon to 1 p.m.
  • 22 Plant Science

Sustainable farm energy virtual tours start April 4

Solar powered pumping system, Pultney, NY

Solar powered pump system, Pultney, NY

From the Cornell Small Farms Program:

Are you looking to stabilize rising fuel and energy costs on your farm or homestead?  Are you seeking more sustainable sources of energy?  In this upcoming four-part webinar series, you’ll meet an organic vegetable farmer, grape grower & winemaker, sunflower & biodiesel producer, and pastured livestock farmer who will lead you through a virtual tour of their sustainable farm energy systems and ecological production techniques.

  • April 4: Organic Vegetable Farm Cools with the Earth: Warms with the Sun
    Noon – 1:00pm with Jay Armour of Four Winds Farm, Gardiner, NY
  • April 11: Family Vineyard Shrinks Carbon Footprint by 40%
    Noon – 1:00pm with Art Hunt of Hunt Country Vineyards, Branchport, NY
  • April 18: Sunflowers & Canola to Fuel: Dairy Becomes Biodiesel Production Facility
    Noon – 1:00pm with Roger Rainville of Borderview Farm, Alburgh, Vermont
  • April 25: Thirsty Livestock? Use Sun or Wind to Power a Remote Watering System
    Noon – 1:00pm with Jonathan Barter of Barter Farm, Branchport NY

Preregistration required. More information, registration links.

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